Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Orochon Ramen

Orochon Ramen is located on Astronaut E S Onizuka St. in Little Tokyo. You may have seen this place on the Los Angeles episode of Man v. Food. Gee, I wonder what I got here....

Spicochist, meet the Orochon Special #2 challenge.

Ever since Adam Richman took this challenge down a couple years ago, I put it on my list of places to visit in Southern California. And then real life got in the way numerous times, basically delaying the inevitable showdown. In mid-March, I finally got my shot.

For the Orochon Special #2 challenge, you get 30 minutes to finish the large bowl of ramen, broth and all. Winners get their photo taken for the wall of bravery.

I went with the miso broth ($7.49) and a few minutes later, the piping-hot red broth stared back at me, along with at least a dozen chopped jalapenos.

Orochon Ramen Special #2 Challenge
Good noodles, tasty broth. Great spice, but nothing that would set my entire body on fire. Volume and temperature heat became my only issues. Slowly but surely, I attacked the bowl. In a lovely dose of panda logic, I picked the bowl up for a huge gulp, and the back of my throat got completely nuked with spice. No biggie, but woulda loved to avoid that.

Finished in a casual 18 minutes, photo taken. Win.

And here's the usual video of me taking the challenge down:

I'm horrible at guessing weight, but it certainly felt like a 3-pound or 4-pound meal. Luckily, at least half of it was liquid. I felt like a fluffy panda afterward; needed a good walk to justify this one.

My friend finished the challenge as well -- and then didn't like me for a bit after that. Probably didn't help that I was taking pleasure in seeing the wrath nuke my friend while the spice had no effect on me.

NOTE: Orochon's "secret menu" also includes a Special #3 and a Special #4. Both sound intriguing enough to try.

Note that parking can be an issue in this area of downtown LA. Would be nice to have a friend or family member drop you off or chauffeur you around. Yes, I'm an evil panda who happens to love spicy food. 7.5/10

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